Prince Henry of Prussia pictured during a visit to the Munster family at Maresfield Park. The family was deported when World War 1 broke out.

Not to be missed – an exhibition on World Wars 1 and 2 at Bridge Cottage

There’s bound to be something to interest you at a Bridge Cottage exhibition, under way at the moment, on life in the Uckfield area during World Wars 1 and 2.

It might be memories stirred by recognising a sewing machine or piece of furniture from the past displayed in one of the upstairs rooms or the stories of people who lived through those years.

Those of you whose families have lived here for generations will recognise the names and biographies of The Fallen; those who have moved to the town more recently will enjoy pictures from the past and learning more about the area.

The history is fascinating, and if you get the chance to talk to those involved in building the exhibition, heritage education officers Nicola Stewart and Maria Kirk, or preservation society chairman Mick Harker, you will learn even more.

One such story is that about Maresfield Park, once the home of the Munster family from Hanover in Germany, which became an army camp during World War 1, writes Cathy Watson.

Most people are aware of the exclusive development within the grand gates to the house just off the roundabout in the heart of Maresfield.


How the entrance to Maresfield Park looked in days gone by.

But did you know the Maresfield House is still there, tucked away out of sight? Did you know its owners were deported after the house was confiscated by the government after the start of World War 1?


Maresfield Park House – it is still there, according to Uckfield Preservation Society chairman Mick Harker.

There are pictures of Maresfield Park in its hey day – and of soldiers in the army camp – and among them is one of Prince Henry of Prussia taken when he visited the family of Prince Munster in Maresfield.


Soldiers at Maresfield army camp,

You might also be interested to see that parachute canopies were made at a flax factory, long gone from Five Ash Down. It was on the site of what became the Grampian chicken factory, also gone, and where there are now homes.

Also intriguing is the story of Aspidistra, a powerful radio transmitter which was housed at King Standing to broadcast black propaganda and deliberately deceive the German military about allied movements during World War 2.

Uckfield News has previously written about World War 1 love letters which are part of the exhibition, now you have the chance to see them.

More information about the exhibition, which runs until Friday, and opening times, can be found on our new Uckfield Events website.

See also:

Uckfield traffic: long list of where work is needed, says Observer

Business rates explained – there’s good news for small firms

RIDGEWOOD FIRE: The aftermath

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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